ARC Review: Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Firsts (ARC)

By: Laurie Elizabeth Flynn

Pages: 320

Published: January 5th, 2016

Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin

Format: e-book

Source: NetGalley

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars


“Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.”

Please be warned that there is a lot of sexual themes and has some rape triggers.
Not suitable for younger audiences.


Add FIRSTS on Goodreads right here.

I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review which does not impact my review in anyway.


Okay, so how does one express their love for this book? I absolutely loved it, and would have finished this in one sitting if I were given enough time. It was amazing in many ways, yet… there was a confusing (kind of major) plot-hole? So I’m rating Firsts with a 4.5/5 stars due to its compelling plot and characters, but slightly questionable plot-hole.
So let’s begin with the positives, shall we? This books starts off with Mercedes giving a “favour” for Evan Brown’s girlfriend where she is helping him learn the ropes to sex and give his girlfriend the “perfect” first time. This book takes a completely different take on the sex/dating concepts we keep seeing; ranging from that girl who wears mini-skirts and other provocative clothing, that girl who literally flirts with everyone, and that girl who has slept with the entire high school.Instead, Mercedes is the girl who seeks out virgin guys so they give their girlfriend the first time Mercedes never had. Hard to wrap your mind around, isn’t it? Like, how on earth is Mercedes’ behaviour acceptable? If you knew someone like this, you would probably ignore them and silently think of disgust as you pass them in the halls. Well, that’s just part of the magical writing in this book. Flynn did an amazing job with character depth and motivation. The way she wrote Mercedes makes you totally feel sympathy for her, and completely understand why she’s doing what she’s doing. It takes a great writer to make the reader feel for the protagonist.

Mercedes is a flawed heroine, and she knows that; it doesn’t stop her from being who she is and trying to improve herself. She is also a person who tries to cut everyone away from her in order to stay in control. She has a rocky relationship with her divorced mom and dad, a person-with-benefits relationship with Zach (her “Wednesday” friend), and a growing distance between her best friend, Angela. The thing is, that all these relationships were developed and the characters developed, in such a way that I was emotionally attached to these characters and desperately wanted them to be happy and understood. Flynn is amazing at writing characters and developing them as well as their relationships.

Okay, so I’m pretty sure the message Flynn wanted to get across was that sex is okay as long as it’s consented and protected, slut-shaming is not okay, and sex is a precious thing. I loved that Mercedes was a big supporter of these things as this is a increasing problem that should be addressed more often in the high school setting. It’s okay to have sex whenever, as long as it is consented and protection is used.

So onto the one slightly negative thing. I loved how Mercedes wanted to secretly help these guys give their girlfriend’s the perfect first time, but I’m slightly confused as to why she thinks that they would keep their word and not tell anyone. She never really thought about her secret going out. And that is what worried me most because we all know people talk, and it was unimaginable how she thought it was never going to get out of their little circle. Although this was a problem, I liked how Flynn wrapped it up Mercedes’ story and solved the major conflicts related to this problem.

Final Verdict:

All in all, I absolutely loved Firsts. It was a story of a girl trying to figure out who she was through the themes of sexual identity, sex, love, and friendships. It was one of my few favourite contemporaries with hidden depth behind the plot. I highly suggest you pick it up.

FIRSTS releases in stores on January 5th, 2016.


Will you be reading Firsts?



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